putting dishwasher tablet in the washing machine

What Happens if You’ve Accidentally Put a Dishwasher Tablet in the Washing Machine?

If you’ve accidentally put a dishwasher tablet into your washing machine, you may be thinking that the end of the world has come.

But, believe it or not, these little mishaps occur more often than you think.

So, what’s going to happen to the dishwasher tablet and the washing machine? Keep on reading and I’ll tell you what’ll happen if you’ve accidently put a dishwasher tablet in the washing machine.

If you’ve accidentally put a dishwasher tablet into the washing machine it is not going to be the end of the world.

While it’s not ideal to do this, your washing machine isn’t likely to suffer any major issues if you’ve only done this once. However, if this is a mistake you keep on making, then be prepared for issues with your washing machine.

This is what you’ll probably have to deal with at the end of the cycle, if you’ve popped a single dishwasher tablet into your washing machine:

1. Dishwasher Tablet Residue Is Left Behind

Dishwasher Tablet Residue in the washing machine

Dishwasher tablets go into a dishwasher, and in the dishwasher they tackle some pretty dirty plates, soiled pans and grease riddled trays.

In order to eradicate these mucky substances, dishwasher tablets need to be combined with extremely high water temperatures to work effectively.

It’s not very likely that you’ll pick a heat setting on your washing machine that comes near to the temperature required. So, the dishwasher tablet in your washing machine may not break down as it should. This will then result in residue being left behind in your washing machine.

If you don’t actually notice this residue, it will attach itself to your next load of washing, and nobody really wants to wear clothes that smell (or may even be soiled) like dishwasher tablets.

Of course, you can just run another hot cycle to get rid of the excess product in the appliance. But this is a waste of time and energy, because the washing machine needs to be empty when you do this.


2. Clothes Won’t Be Washed and Could Be Damaged

It’s not ideal to wash your clothes with a dishwasher tablet, after all, these tablets are not designed to clean laundry.

In some cases, and depending on what your laundry pile is made up of, you may be lucky, and you might be able to escape with just soiled clothes that need rewashing.

However, if you’ve got delicate items in the machine, at the same time as the dishwasher tablet, then these items may be damaged.

The chemicals in a dishwasher tablet are very strong and they aren’t really suitable for delicate materials. The dishwasher tablet is likely to react with the fine fibres, and you might end up with weakened items or clothes that cannot be worn again.


3. Extra Cleaning May Be Required

extra cleaning needed when using dishwasher tablet in the washing machine

As mentioned above, there’s a really good chance that the dishwasher tablet you’ve popped into your washing machine will leave some residue behind. While this is usually removed by running another hot cycle, not all traces will be removed in some cases.

Sometimes dishwasher tablet residue gets under the seals in your washing machine, onto the door and trapped in little crevices.

To resolve this issue, before you wash another load of laundry, you’ll need to go and manually clean your washing machine.

It’s not too difficult to clean a washing machine, and in most cases a basic white vinegar and water mix will do the trick. There’s no need to go out and buy a specialised cleaner, but of course, if you’d prefer to do that then there are a number of options you can browse through.

You can find out exactly how to clean the different parts in a washing machine in our guide.


4. Hose Problems

hose problems when using dishwasher tablet in the washing machine

If you’ve accidentally put a dishwasher tablet into your washing machine, it’s worth examining the drainage hose to make sure that it hasn’t broken in any way.

Although it is very unlikely that a single dishwasher tablet will have severely damaged the hose, it’s still worth checking it out and keeping an eye on it.

You can check the exterior of the hose by pulling your washing machine out. Just have a quick scan over the hose and check to see if any water is leaking from it. As noted, if this is the first time you’ve put a dishwasher tablet in the machine by mistake, you’re probably not going to see anything.

If you also want to make sure that there are no future problems, you could remove the drainage hose and clean it out. Simply remove it and run hot water from the tap through it. Don’t forget to replace the hose as instructed in your user manual.


5. Foam Overload

foam overload when using dishwasher tablet in the washing machine

It’s not uncommon to see a lot of foam in a washing machine after you’ve popped a dishwasher tablet in.

Although this foam will be washed away eventually, you’ll need to keep an eye out for blockages in the hose and for any damage caused by the foam to the seals.

It’s important to remember that although foam appears in a washing machine when there is excess detergent, this is not the same foam as the one made by a dishwasher tablet. Both product’s ingredients differ greatly, and while they’re both designed to clean, they do so in different ways and by using various chemicals.

The chemicals used in a dishwasher tablet are not designed to go into a washing machine, therefore, they’ll likely be too strong for the machine.


6. Your Warranty Could Be Voided

warranty could be voided when using dishwasher tablet in the washing machine

If you read your washing machine’s user manual you will not be told to use dishwasher tablets to clean your washing machine. In fact, dishwasher tablets probably won’t get a mention in the book – unless it’s to tell you not to use them!

So, if you accidentally, or choose to, add a dishwasher tablet to your washing machine, your warranty will likely be voided. The manufacturer will have outlined in the user manual what to do and what not to do, so stick to what they say.

Remember: Dishwasher tablets are designed for dishwashers, and laundry detergents are designed to go into washing machines.


7. Washing Machine May Look Cleaner

Washing Machine May Look Cleaner using dishwasher tablet

If you’re lucky enough to escape the above, then you may just end up with a cleaner looking washing machine at the end of the cycle.

Of course, it’s not advised to continuously use dishwasher tablets in the washing machine, even if it does look pretty at the end. There are much better and safer options that have been tried and tested to do the job.